If only

A young mother is talking to her fifteen-year-old daughter about dreams and regrets of generation after generation of women in her family. 

Your grandma was young and beautiful. Her beauty was so pure it was hard taking it in sometimes. Maybe if she was born in a different time, things would be different. It was only 1941. Her dad was abusive and her mom was submissive. Went to school up to the sixth grade and had to drop out. Money had to be made. She was twenty-six years old, full of hope, still so young. Hiding from her father, she found herself a lover. It was only 1941. She couldn’t figure it out—was love that sensation she felt inside? She believed in God and the church, and gave all her power to the men in her life.

A year later she became a mother, still hiding from her religious and over-protective father. No real father for her two children, and so many regrets. Years went by and she found herself alone. Her son, twenty-six, now a family man, and her daughter, twenty-one, hoping to find love. History has repeated itself; if only a better job would’ve been done. The daughter grew up, fell for a man, and had two beautiful kids of her own. The absence of their father and his guidance made it hard for them to see that there is so much more to life than what is just right here. They wanted to find the love he didn’t give them in other people.

The daughter, twenty-nine, had dreams of going to the United States. She was stuck in El Salvador, a country ruined after the civil war. For someone so young, she had seen too much. A new life seemed to offer so much more. She made it to the United States and fell in love with the bay. She figured out new ways to live her life and a better person she became, leaving her children back home, missing their mom. Her daughter, twelve, and her son, fourteen. After six years of their mother’s absence, they hoped to make a better future. Just like their mother, they had to learn again that there is so much more to life than what was left back home. They started a journey to find themselves.

Her kids grew up and have learned new ways of life. Her little girl is not so little and is now eighteen; her son turns twenty in May. Her daughter has fallen victim to society’s norms and so many fake friends have influenced and ruined her true self. She’s put into categories and stereotypes and even told her race. She finds herself so lost. She is so young and beautiful, has so much progress to still make. It’s 2016 and society’s pressures haven’t changed. She is still being judged for not knowing her true self, she’s still struggling to find the true meaning of love and what it means to be a young woman in a place where she’s constantly reminded of what it means to be a “real woman.”

This entry was posted in Student Writing Gallery.

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